KARACHI: Despite persistent political volatility, the stock market on Monday reversed the gloomy trend on renewed buying interest in selective sectors as a result the benchmark KSE 100-share index partially recovered overnight losses to settle above the 60,000 level.

However, global credit agency Fitch Ratings in its latest report has warned that the closely contested election outcome has raised serious concerns about Pakistan’s pursuit to reach a crucial financing agreement with the International Monetary Fund after the expiration of the current $3bn Stand-By Arrangement next month.

Topline Securities Ltd said the market opened on a negative note as the index declined to make an intraday low of 681 points to 59,191.86 amid a lack of clarity on the formation of a new government.

However, investors went for cherry-picking after the Supreme Court postponed the hearing of the petition that sought to declare the Feb 8 general elections as ‘null and void’ due to the petitioner’s non-appearance.

Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd, Pakistan Petroleum Ltd, Hub Power Company Ltd, Engro Corporation and Bank Al-Habib cumulatively contributed 419 points to the index’s positive performance. On the flip side, United Bank Ltd, Nestle Pakistan, Colgate-Palmolive, Dawood Hercules and Pakistan Oilfield Ltd took away 88 points.

Ahsan Mehanti of Arif Habib Corporation said speculations about a breakthrough in negotiations between PML-N and Pakistan Peoples Party over a coalition government power-sharing formula later in the day eased political instability fuelling a sharp recovery at the PSX.

As a result, the KSE-100 index closed at 60,459.75 points after adding 586.79 points or 0.98 per cent from the preceding session.

The overall trading volume dipped 16.68pc to 261.79 million shares. The traded value also fell 19.07pc to Rs9.90bn on a day-on-day basis.

Stocks contributing significantly to the traded volume included Pakistan Pakistan International Airlines Corporation (21.40m shares), WorldCall Telecom Ltd (20.03m shares), Pakistan Refinery Ltd (15.16m shares), Cnergyico PK Ltd (14.12m shares) and K-Electric (13.20m shares).

Shares registering the biggest increases in their share prices in absolute terms were Rafhan Maize Ltd (Rs373.75), Indus Motor Company Ltd (Rs51.28), Pakistan Tob­acco Company Ltd (Rs48.66), Shield Corp­oration Ltd (Rs18.04) and Sazgar Engineering Ltd (Rs16.57).

Companies registering the biggest decreases in their share prices in absolute terms were Nestle Pakistan (Rs289.89), Pakistan Engineering Com­pany Ltd (Rs38.25), Meh­mood Textile (Rs35.87), Colgate-Palm­olive (Rs19.46) and Siemens Pakistan Ltd (Rs19.04).

Foreign investors turned net sellers as they offloaded shares worth $1.05m.

Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2024

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